New discovery could change what we know about the origin of life on Earth_freckle removal scar

Joshua Hawkins·3 min read

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The true origin of life has always been one of the greatest unknowns that we as humans have sought to learn about. From the creation of the world in the Bible to the belief that biomolecules came to Earth on the backs of asteroids or comets billions of years ago, we’ve seen several answers over the years. Until now, though, many believed that the basic building blocks of life, called peptides, required water to form. This ruled out the possibility that these building blocks could come from space, right? Well, new research has turned that belief on its head. And now some say we’ll need to look to the stars if we truly want to find the true origin of life.

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The true origin of life could be out in the stars

galaxy and stars in space
Image source: ESA/Hubble NASA/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

No matter what territory your beliefs fall under for the origin of life, the data found by Dr. Serge Krasnokutski, a physicist at the Laboratory Astrophysics and Cluster Physics Group of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy at the University of Jena, and his team is intriguing.

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Krasnokutski says the formation of peptides normally requires the addition of water in the first step. The second step involves the removal of the water to complete the formation. This creates what scientists call an amino acid glycine, a key figure in the hunt for the origin of life. Krasnokutski and his team wanted to see if they could recreate peptides in space. However, part of the mystery lies in the fact that space is a vacuum. That means there’s no oxygen to help create the water needed for the process. With this new research, Krasnokutski and his team proved it is possible. Additionally, they proved that the previous convention isn’t the only way these peptides form.

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